May 15, 2008
W: Oscar Villareal (1-3)
L: Jack Taschner (2-1)
S: Jose Valverde (10)
The Astros kept pace with the Cubs and proved that they, along with all the other NL Central teams, are better than the San Francisco Giants. (With the possible exception of the Reds. I think they lost the series to San Fran, but I’m too lazy to look it up and will simply assume that the lost. With the Reds, it’s the safe assumption to make.)
Houston got on the board early, thanks to Lance Berkman hitting another homer. There was a runner on, but it wasn’t Michael Bourn. Like many other teams, the Astros don’t seem to realize that leadoff hitters with speed have to get on the bases to have that speed be an asset. Instead, Bourn, like Corey Patterson and Alfonso Soriano, loves to make outs. He makes an out 73% of the time. Ouch.
But the Astros won anyway, thanks to the rest of the offense and decent pitching. They sit in third place, 1.5 games behind Chicago.
This afternoon Chris Sampson battles with Tim Lincecum at 3:45pm EDT.
May 15, 2008
W: Todd Wellemeyer (4-1)
L: Paul Maholm (2-4)
As Pat pointed out, Cesar Izturis went 3 for 5 against the Pirates last night, and that never portends good things.
It didn’t for the Pirates, who lost to the Cardinals. Paul Maholm was not sharp, allowing 11 of St. Louis’ 15 hits and getting the loss. Todd Wellemeyer continued to do what he’s done all year, which is pitch surprisingly competent baseball to pick up the win. It’s like Todd is the 2008 St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals needed the win after struggling of late. We get to see the two teams fight again today at 1:15pm EDT when Ian Snell starts against Joel Pineiro.
May 15, 2008
W: Jared Burton (2-1)
L: Renyel Pinto (1-2)
Bronson Arroyo had his best start of the season last night, pitching seven shutout innings. The bullpen, upon witnessing this, furrowed its brow with dark malevolent thoughts. This could not stand.
So it didn’t. Shiny new closer Francisco Cordero, with very few miles on him after only a handful of drives out to the mound, allowed a home run in the ninth to tie the game and send it into extras. It was oh so reminiscent of last year, only with a “proper” closer this time.
When Cordero started warming up, I had a bad feeling. He’d been used two straight nights, one of those for two innings. Yeah, this would not end well. If only there were someone, anyone, on the team who had closing experience. Alas, that was not the case, and now Cordero will be completely unavailable should he be needed today. If I didn’t know better, I could have sworn it was Narron managing again.
Dusty Baker was the puppet-master looking at the strings he was supposed to pull, though, and miraculously had his team get the win thanks to a game-winning hit by Paul Janish. What a way to get your first hit.
The Reds go for the sweep of the four-game set with the Marlins tonight when Andrew Miller faces Matt Belisle at 7:10pm EDT.